Safety and OSHA News

Chili-finger lady admits cooking digit lost in workplace incident

Remember the story from about five years ago in which a woman planted a man’s finger, severed in a workplace accident, in a bowl of Wendy’s chili, hoping to win a big lawsuit with the fast-food chain? Now she’s come forward with more details on exactly how she did it.

Anna Ayala just finished serving four years in prison for her part in the scam on Wendy’s.

In an interview with a reporter from KPIX-TV, Ayala divulged new details about the ruse. (Watch the video here.)

Among the details: She cooked the finger.

She paid Brian Rossiter, a friend of her husband’s, $100 for his finger that was severed in a workplace incident.

Ayala obviously put some thought into her crime. To make the finger look like it was cooked in chili at Wendy’s, she did just that … except she did it at home.

She bought a cup of Wendy’s chili, took it home, and cooked the finger in the chili.

Then she left for a trip to Mexico. Her TV interviewer asked whether she took the finger with her to Mexico. The finger missed out on the vacation: She left it at home in the freezer.

Wendy’s lost at estimated $21 million in business after Ayala claimed she bit into the finger while eating chili in one of the chain’s restaurants in San Jose, CA.

As a condition of her parole, Ayala is banned from Wendy’s for life.

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  • John

    Poor thing! We need to redistribute more wealth so tortured souls like her can get a better liberal defense attorney.

  • Larry King

    Is this moderated? John’s comment has nothing to do with the story.

  • Chris H

    I agree. What is John talking about? What does liberal or distribution of wealth have to do with the story. As for Anna Ayala, she paid a pretty heavy price for her fraud.

  • Chuck

    Larry: John is right. Until there is some action taken against plaintif attorneys who knowingly take frivelous lawsuits there will always be people who are one industrial accident or one incident like this away from being financially independent. The TV Ads from the dirtbag law office who encourage people to file suit have gotten way out of hand. The real looser her is Wendy’s. They claim that the lost a crap load of business this is probably inflated, but the article doesn’t say how much their legal defense cost them.

  • http://www.slocbe.com Leslie Halls

    Can Wendy’s put in a claim for restitution? They lost a boatload of money as a result of this case. They were the victim of fraud, by the lady and her attorney. Or was dropping restitution part of the plea bargain?

  • Larry King

    My guess is that she is “judgment proof”, especially after 4 years in the joint.

  • Merrill

    It’s doubtful Wendy’s would, or could depending upon the state of venue, try for restitution. First, Wendy’s would have to prove malintent to harm their business activities and income. That chance is unlikely since her intent was simply to scam some money.

    Second, Wendy’s would have to consider the cost/benefit. How much would it cost to bring suit? How much would they receive in restitution? Likely none. This lady was apparently broke. Excuse the cliche, but you can’t get blood from a turnip.

    Third, from a PR standpoint, most corporations would rather let these cases go. Since they would never recoup their lost business, no sense in wallowing in hog slop for the eager-for-new-gossip media.

  • http://www.slocbe.com Leslie Halls

    Larry, you are probably right. And Wendy’s would like a a big bad corporation to go after her even if they could. It’s too bad, though. Hopefully her sentence will discourage others from attempting something similar. In a recession like this, all kinds of phony claims are asserted against anyone perceived to have a deep pocket.

  • Leslie

    Actually, Wendy’s probably could prove malintent. Once the lady filed the lawsuit, and it became public, people worldwide would avoid Wendy’s. To have found a finger in a resturant would be very bad business.

    Of course, it would not be cost effective to file.

  • geez get grip

    DUH, I think John is just being SARCASTIC , ya know , sarcasm?! DUH, trying to be funny is all he meant. gees , people.

  • Chuck C

    To many, achieving the great American dream is only one lawsuit away.